Renovations & Decor Magazine, Autumn 2002

Celebrity Renovation

Come see John Sillaots's own bathroom


Here’s a renovation with a difference. John Sillaots, the popular host of HGTV’s In the Workshop, made this bathroom brighter, more practical and, contrary to what most people might expect, significantly smaller.

Best of all, it’s a reno that you can see with your own eyes. We can’t bring the room itself - the bathroom is part of John Sillaots’s own home, after all – but we are doing the next best thing. The entire room has been reconstructed and will be on display for all to see at two major home shows this fall. You can see it at the RENOVATION & DÉCOR Magazine Kitchen & Bath Idea Centre presented at the Fall Home Show, October 3 to 6 in the Automotive Building at Exhibition Place. The room will also be at the International Home Show at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, October 11 to 14.

John Sillaots himself will be on hand, along with RENOVATION & DÉCOR editor Karen Kirk, to point out the many features of the renovation project, and explain the step-by-step process from the heated flooring right up to the spectacular skylight.

 While the bathroom is not large, doing a thorough renovation was a major undertaking. In any family home, losing the use of a bathroom for any length of time is inconvenient at best. It’s a job that homeowners understandably keep putting off – until it just has to be done.

John Sillaots began with structural changes. “The renovation called for moving the wall in three feet,” he explains, “to gain more room in the master ensuite on the other side.” The old cabinets and fixtures were removed and the walls were stripped and repaired. A new metal stud wall by Bailey Metal Products went up in no time and was quickly covered with drywall.

Next came the plumbing. John used a new solderless plumbing system featuring flexible pipes from IPEX designed for do-it-yourselfers – a real time-saver.

To keep the room light and bright, milky marble tiles were installed on the floor and walls over a waterproof membrane by Schluter Systems. For comfort underfoot, custom sized 1/8-inch-thick radiant heating pads by NUHEAT were installed directly beneath the floor tiles by a certified installer. The temperature can be adjusted by a wall-mounted control panel or dimmer switch and costs as much to operate a light bulb in the room.

To reflect the country charm of the home, ready-to-install, pre-primed MDF wainscoting panels by Stinson Wainscoting were installed and painted in a delicate pastry colour to match the leafy print of the wallpaper dressing the walls above. Reasonably-priced fixtures – pedestal sink and toilet – were put in with chrome taps by Price Pfister picked up at Rona/Lansing. A clear glass shower enclosure by Shower Door of Canada give the appearance of a walk-in shower and enhances the light and airy feel of the new room.

The most impressive addition to this tight 5-by-8 room was the Velux skylight installed by Denis Charron of Skylights Unlimited. Apart from providing plenty of natural light, the manually operated skylight offers additional ventilation to the Broan-Nutone exhaust fan. The Venmar air filtration system forces out moisture and returns fresh filtered air, essential for this small bathroom which now features a generous 44-by-36 shower stall.

The expertise and product knowledge that John Sillaots has built up over the years paid off both aesthetically economically. “We used a selection of today’s best new products designed to be cost-effective, easy to install and guaranteed to work long and hard for years to come,” he says.

The result is a room that is both serviceable and attractive. Come and see it for yourself!


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